Sporting Chef Scott Leysath enjoys prime cuts of wild game just like everyone else, but he also knows you don’t have to always toss out those scraps of meat like many hunters do.
If you take the time to cut all the meat from your deer, and that can take some time but it’s part of the process, don’t fret about how to cook them. Jerky is a good option, of course, but trimming the silver skin and then grinding those other portions from the deer can yield more meat for burgers and this great meatloaf recipe from Leysath.
“This recipe works with any ground antlered game meat,” he said. “Whether grinding it yourself or having it ground for you at the processor, make sure the meat is coarsely ground. The thicker the grind, the better the meatloaf. Ingredient measurements don’t have to be exact!”
Deer Meatloaf With Herb Crust
6 – 8 servings
1 pound ground venison
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups onion, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups tomato salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder (I prefer ancho or chipotle powder)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer Japanese “panko” breadcrumbs)
You can substitute any herbs for this crust. In a pinch, you can substitute dried herbs or herb blends like Italian seasoning.
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, blend together all ingredients. Combine ingredients, mixing well with your hands. Place into a well-greased baking dish and form into a rectangle, about 3 inches tall. Spread the Herb Crust over top of meat. Place dish into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 160 to 170 degrees.
Want more from Leysath?
Leysath’s latest and greatest venison cookbook is ready for you to put to good use for the deer you’ve killed this season!
It is packed with his years of experience in preparation, kitchen tips, recipes, thoughts on marinades and herbs, and other great ideas for your venison. Leysath touches on soups, stews, whole roasts and shoulders in the oven, grilling and even smoking. If you ever get a chance to try any of his venison in a Camp Chef smoker, do so!